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  1. Abstract

    Photon number resolving (PNR) measurements are beneficial or even necessary for many applications in quantum optics. Unfortunately, PNR detectors are usually large, slow, expensive, and difficult to operate. However, if the input signal is multiplexed, photon ‘click’ detectors, that lack an intrinsic PNR capability, can still be used to realize photon number resolution. Here, we investigate the operation of a single click detector, together with a storage line with tunable outcoupling. Using adaptive feedback to adjust the storage outcoupling rate, the dynamic range of the detector can in certain situations be extended by up to an order of magnitude relative to a purely passive setup. An adaptive approach can thus allow for photon number variance below the quantum shot noise limit under a wider range of conditions than using a passive multiplexing approach. This can enable applications in quantum enhanced metrology and quantum computing.

     
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  2. Quantitative phase imaging provides a way to image transparent objects, such as biological cells, and measure their thickness. We report on a phase-imaging method that achieves twice the phase shift and approximately 1.7 times the spatial resolution of an equivalent spatially and temporally coherent classical quantitative phase-imaging system by using quantum interference between successive spontaneous parametric downconversion events in a nonlinear crystal. Furthermore, our method is approximately 1000 times faster than imaging the parametric downconversion photons in coincidence, which requires measurement times on the order of tens of hours. Our method may be useful for imaging sensitive transparent objects that require low illumination intensities at near-infrared and longer illumination wavelengths, such as photosensitive biological samples.

     
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  3. Spaceplates are novel flat-optic devices that implement the optical response of a free-space volume over a smaller length, effectively “compressing space” for light propagation. Together with flat lenses such as metalenses or diffractive lenses, spaceplates have the potential to enable the miniaturization of any free-space optical system. While the fundamental and practical bounds on the performance metrics of flat lenses have been well studied in recent years, a similar understanding of the ultimate limits of spaceplates is lacking, especially regarding the issue of bandwidth, which remains as a crucial roadblock for the adoption of this platform. In this work, we derive fundamental bounds on the bandwidth of spaceplates as a function of their numerical aperture and compression ratio (ratio by which the free-space pathway is compressed). The general form of these bounds is universal and can be applied and specialized for different broad classes of space-compression devices, regardless of their particular implementation. Our findings also offer relevant insights into the physical mechanism at the origin of generic space-compression effects and may guide the design of higher performance spaceplates, opening new opportunities for ultra-compact, monolithic, planar optical systems for a variety of applications.

     
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  4. Limited-size receiver (Rx) apertures and transmitter–Rx (Tx–Rx) misalignments could induce power loss and modal crosstalk in a mode-multiplexed free-space link. We experimentally demonstrate the mitigation of these impairments in a 400 Gbit/s four-data-channel free-space optical link. To mitigate the above degradations, our approach of singular-value-decomposition-based (SVD-based) beam orthogonalization includes (1) measuring the transmission matrixHfor the link given a limited-size aperture or misalignment; (2) performing SVD on the transmission matrix to find theU,Σ<#comment/>, andVcomplex matrices; (3) transmitting each data channel on a beam that is a combination of Laguerre–Gaussian modes with complex weights according to theVmatrix; and (4) applying theUmatrix to the channel demultiplexer at the Rx. Compared with the case of transmitting each channel on a beam using a single mode, our experimental results when transmitting multi-mode beams show that (a) with a limited-size aperture, the power loss and crosstalk could be reduced by∼<#comment/>8and∼<#comment/>23dB, respectively; and (b) with misalignment, the power loss and crosstalk could be reduced by∼<#comment/>15and∼<#comment/>40dB, respectively.

     
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